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In an editorial featured in the Huffington Post on June 19, Chelsea Clinton spotlighted Youth Radio and its 2012 Clinton Global Initiative commitment as an example of an organization working to improve the youth unemployment problem by providing “tangible, real-world opportunities [that] make youth less apt to drop out of school and also more marketable to employers.”
The article summarized Ms. Clinton’s key takeaways from the proceedings of the Reconnecting Youth working group at the June 2013 CGI America Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL on June 13-14. At each annual meeting, CGI America partners discuss progress towards their CGI commitments and ideas they have for others pursuing common goals. Youth Radio became a part of the working group as a CGI America partner with its 2012 commitment to create a Digital Media and Technology Pathway, connecting at least 60 low-income young adults to jobs in the technology and digital media industry. Additionally, Youth Radio committed to creating a Break Through news desk to examine our nation’s significant youth unemployment program through the lens of young job seekers.
The Digital Media and Technology Pathway began in January 2013 by building partnerships with local and regional employers seeking low-cost employees with critical digital media skills. These relationships have proven fruitful, and so far this year, Youth Radio has been able to secure job and internship placements for 15 Youth Radio program graduates.
The Break Through desk is a special reporting hub that produces stories examining youth unemployment through the lens of young job seekers in Oakland, CA. With each story, policymakers, business leaders and other stakeholders will learn more about why young people are having problems finding good jobs in today’s economy, and which programs are helping young people break through, offering hope where none before existed.
At this year’s CGI America annual meeting, Youth Radio’s Executive Director Richard Raya interviewed former Youth Radio participant Genesys Sanchez, who talked about her struggle as a teen mother trying to find a job in today’s economy. After the interview in front of the CGI America crowd, Genesys took questions from the audience about her job seeking experience and the training that enabled her to begin building her career.
Genesys’s story is a great example of how Youth Radio’s training and support programs offer young people the practical skills they need to secure quality jobs and build careers. We look forward to further progress on our Clinton Global Initiative commitment in the months to come, and to our continued involvement in the CGI America Reconnecting Youth working group.